Three prayers - all written by key figures in the history of theology at the University of Cambridge during its 800 year story - one based on a prayer in springtime by Erasmus of Queens College, a much shorter prayer from a work that Margaret Beaufort translated into English, and a third, shorter again, from Henry Martyn.
In one the language is plural: we pray as a gathered community of fellowship and learning.
In the short prayers the language is singular: we speak personally and individually to God.
Prayer in Springtime (Erasmus)
Almighty Lord Jesus Christ, as you make all things new, for us you have made this world most beautiful. You have spangled the heavens with so many lights, that the day might be fruitful and the night be safe. With changing seasons you rule the earth, and make it the kind nurse of all animals and people. Now, as you have been brought to life again, all things live, and they confirm our hope of the resurrection which you promised.
The meadow, which was dressed in black, now grows green again. The flowers are like bright gems, the wheat-ears sprout, buried seeds arise from their furrows, dead forests grow young with new leaves, and the sight of fresh bloom gives us hope of bounty.
The sun's rays grow brighter and more generous, and wherever we cast our eyes, the sights of all nature, as if it were reborn, speak your goodness to the human race. When we were driven from paradise by our fault, because of your goodness you softened with many comforts the exile we deserved.
As in baptism we have received new life in you, have put aside our old selves, and been made new creations, may we never slip back to old ways, but may we grow strong in lasting innocence by the pleasant breath of your Spirit, and in a better day be adorned with flowers of virtue, bearing fruit worthy of your Good News, as you with the Father and the Holy Ghost reign forever and ever. Amen.
Thomas a Kempis (translated by Margaret Beaufort)
Yours Lord are all things, in heaven and on the earth ... in the simplicity of my heart I offer myself to you today, to be your servant for ever, in humble submission.
Lord, I am blind and helpless, stupid and ignorant.
Cause me to hear, cause me to know, teach me to do, lead me.
Our prayers we bring for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen.
...So whilst an artist like Rembrandt could create hundreds of miracles in paint and pen that brought biblical stories to life in Calvinist Holland, his art hung upon the walls of homes and never in churches...